Even if there’s snow on the ground and the thermometer reads -30C, spring is coming, and if you’re a gardener it’s time to get ready to get planting. The ninth annual Seedy Saturday was all about preparing people for the garden, with resources, knowledge and, most importantly, things to grow all on offer at the event.
But what about the people who are gardening for the first time? The event catered to them as well, with presentations to answer their questions about gardens and what they should do.
Glen Tymiak talked about urban gardening. His message is that you don’t need a lot of space to grow your own food, just a pot of good soil, a bit of fertilizer, water and sunlight and you’re on the way to having a garden, even if it’s relatively small.
“Some may not have a huge yard for a garden. Some might have a little plot, just the size of a table, they can do that.”
People can plant in little plot, a raised bed, hanging baskets and other ideas like an upside down tomato plant. They can be grown on the deck in most homes.
“You can walk out there and get cherry tomatoes. You don’t have to have them in the ground, they can be hanging there.”
His most important piece of advice? Grow what you love. If you don’t like cabbage, for example, there’s no reason to put it in your garden, since the effort spent won’t lead to something you’re looking forward to eating.
Roy Beck was also at the event, answering people’s gardening questions in a Q&A. He talked about how to start a garden - start with potatoes, and then move to other vegetables as the soil’s nutrients get used - and how to best grow garlic - start early so it can mature better over the growing season. He likes the format because it challenges him.
“I like these things because it helps me pick my brain. I’ve forgotten more than what most people know in the first place.”
Sharing that knowledge is important, Beck said, because he wants people to continue gardening. He knows that there are people who hang up their trowel because they didn’t have the knowledge needed to successfully grow what they wanted, and unfortunately they quit gardening as a result. The goal of an event like Seedy Saturday, to Beck, is to allow him to give his knowledge to people who might be starting out and don’t have college experience in horticulture or a lifetime of growing or experimenting with plants to lean back on. If he can give tips and help people successfully grow, it can help with their projects for life.
Beck was also selling seeds. His seeds have been grown for at least one generation in this climate, and he said that’s something that is an advantage when you’re buying seeds - they’re used to the soil here, and are better adapted to this growing environment.